Mayor quits; girls allege inappropriate contact

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by CRAIG CIVALE / WFAA

khou.com

Posted on May 22, 2012 at 10:10 AM

KENNEDALE, Texas — Four-term Kennedale Mayor Bryan Lankhorst resigned from office on Saturday, one day after Arlington police started investigating allegations that he inappropriately touched students.

In a letter to city officials, Lankhorst said he was resigning because "my current circumstances require that I focus my attention on my family and on my personal life."

His resignation was tendered hours after Kennedale posted on the city's website that City Council members were going to discuss complaints against the mayor at their Tuesday meeting.

The complaints stem from Lankorst's role as a substitute teacher at Miller Elementary School in Arlington.

Last week, Daisy Wood's 11-year-old daughter was one of a group of students who claimed Lankhorst touched them inappropriately. She documented her complaint in a letter to the principal:

"He asked me and two other girls, 'Do you want to get pregnant before 18?' He hit me on the butt when we were playing tag when I told him to tag me on the hand."

Daisy Wood said  Lankhorst made her daughter feel uncomfortable. 

Lankhorst has not been charged, but News 8 has learned that Arlington police are investigating multiple allegations of assault against the now-former mayor.

A spokesperson for Arlington ISD said it passed the investigation on to police because the suspect was not cooperating with them.

Lankhorst is married and has two grown children.

He was reelected as mayor less than two weeks ago, and city officials called his resignation surprising.

Lankhorst has hired an attorney, and did not return requests from WFAA for an interview.

"That was just alarming to me that somebody ... that's in the public eye would even consider the touches that he had with my daughter and the other students," Daisy Wood said.

Arlington ISD has removed Lankhorst from the district while the investigation continues, and the popular mayor has now taken himself out of public office.

City Council member John Clark is now serving as mayor, according to Kennedale's website.

E-mail ccivale@wfaa.com

Twitter @craigcivale

 

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